Land Surveying Courses and Classes Overview
Land surveyors establish boundaries of land, water and airspace to determine property ownership. Land surveying courses prepare students for professional surveying licensure exams. Many land surveying programs are part of geomatics programs at colleges and universities.
Introduction to Land Surveying Course
This first course in a land surveying program includes discussion of land ownership, property rights, laws governing property and definitions of land ownership and other surveying related terms. Students research property ownership through property records. Maps are used to establish property boundaries. Students may be introduced to primary tools for surveying and making maps, such as field equipment, mapping and GIS (geographic information systems) software, GPS (global positioning system) handhelds and computer aided design.
Using coordinate geometry, instruction is focused on computations necessary to identify survey points on land. Spherical coordinates and Cartesian coordinate systems are discussed. In this course students use advanced computations and thus trigonometry is a prerequisite.
This highly technical class introduces the concept of creating a flat map, a plane, to describe a curved surface. Geodesy, measuring the shape of the Earth, is introduced. Students learn how to use the North Star to determine direction. Determining errors in precision measurement is covered. This course is one of the last courses taken in a land surveying program.
Plane Surveying Course
Plane surveying introduces students to the skills and technological knowledge required for working in the field. Students learn how to measure, calculate and record direction, distance and elevation using standard field equipment; advanced skills are taught through projects in which students use GPS for data collection and geometric calculations to measure curves. Prerequisites for this technical course are beginning land surveying and trigonometry.
This course is taken after the introduction to land surveying course and plane surveying have been completed. Students practice interpreting and preparing land descriptions for titles according to the U.S. Public Land Survey System. Additional topics include boundary dispute case law, senior rights and title transfers. Strong reading skills are required for this course, which is based on the interpretation and analysis of often complex legal concepts and language.
Public Land Survey System Course
The Public Land Survey System is a U.S. government maintained database of public land. Students interpret data and maps from this survey system to identify and survey public lands. Data quality issues are discussed. This course may be an elective.
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